Here’s some startling news: More than 70% of change initiatives fail.
Before you write this off as either: 1) Not your problem (“mine don’t fail!”) or, 2) A bunch of bologna (aka — sensationalist, first-line attention-grabbing antics!), let me tell you something: it’s true – only 30% succeed. You don’t need to take my word for it, though. According to both Harvard Business Review’s, Cracking the Code of Change, and Gallup Business Journal’s, Most Change Initiatives Fail – But They Don’t Have To, this 70% failure rate stands as the norm. But, there’s more: the HBR article was written in 2000, the Gallup article written in 2013. What does this tell us? Something hasn’t changed, and it’s not just change initiatives. via switchandshift.com
70%. There's that figure again. 70%.
More than 70% of change initiatives fail.
That is mighty coincidental with the percentage of employees NOT engaged with their work. According to the Gallup organization, that percentage is, drum roll, 70%. Yep. 70% of employees in the US are disengaged, intellectually and emotionally with their work.
Hard to initiate change, even harder to make it a success, with a group of people you have motivated to be bored, disinterested, and merely going through their paces, that is their routine paces.
Gallup also reports that this disengagement rate has remain virtually unchanged for the past decade.
Though the state of the U.S. economy has changed substantially, the state of its workplace has not. According to Gallup's State of the American Workplace: 2010-2012 report, employee engagement levels remain stagnant among U.S. workers ... Though this figure matches the all-time high since Gallup began tracking the U.S. working population's engagement levels in 2000, U.S. business leaders shouldn't be patting themselves on the back. An alarming 70% of American workers are not showing up to work committed to delivering their best performance, and this has serious implications for the bottom line of individual companies and the U.S. economy as a whole.
That lack of improvement in employee engagement aligns nicely with the lack of improvement in change initiatives' failure rate. A decade of 70% failure rates for both of them.
Now, if they were baseball players and their lifetime batting average was .300 then they might end up in the Hall of Fame.
This 70% figure shows up in another operation of business execution. 71%, close enough, of employees cannot find their corporate mission statement on a multiple choice exam. Pow! That's gotta take the wind out of the corporate communications department.
According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, “When CEOs Talk Strategy, Is Anyone Listening?” only a fraction of our workforce is really clued in. The article cites recent research which says that even in high-performing companies with “clearly articulated public strategies,” only 29% of their employees can correctly identify their company’s strategy out of six choices. -When CEOs Talk, 70% of The Company Doesn't Get It.
It is not that 70% of the company doesn't get it. 70% of the company doesn't care about it.
100% of the people cared on their first day at work. What happened?